With COVID-19 on our minds constantly these days — a clear reminder that our world is volatile, constantly changing, even dangerous — it’s reassuring to know that the Lord of my life is “the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
With that truth in mind as I sit down at my computer, I’m asking myself: What can I say about Easter that is fresh and new? Nothing!
The glorious truth that Jesus “died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4) has not changed in 2,000 years. All who believe in Him can claim the promise: “it will be counted to us (as righteousness) who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Romans 4:22-25).
I learned about this good news as a child. I didn’t understand it or make it my own until my mother explained it to me as a 21-year-old college student. She told me about the Gospel, handed me a book and said, “You should read this. He’s a smart guy, like you.” For the next couple of hours, I poured over Chuck Colson’s book Born Again.
Colson himself was heavily influenced by C.S. Lewis. In his book about his own conversion, Lewis tells how he got on a bus not believing, and by the time he arrived at his destination, he had become a Christian. I had the privilege to tell Chuck about my story and the influence of his book on me many years later.
I was far from God when that day started, in August of 1977. I was experimenting with drugs. I was a pre-med student who believed in science, not religion. When the day was over, I was a Christian. God redirected my life’s desire to be a missionary. In 12 years with World Vision, I traveled to 25 countries, to the poorest of the poor.
It was not the kind of missionary ministry I originally had in mind. But I have no doubt God has continued to lead me. Every day I have the opportunity to continue to spread this good news through the work of our clients, through my position with The Lausanne Movement, and by serving on boards of other great organizations.
This Easter, I want to remember that God has called all of us who believe in Jesus to “the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself” (2 Corinthians 5:18-19).
We are His ambassadors … to those who have never heard, to those who know the news but don’t believe it, even to those who are hostile to the message.
This calling and this good news are timeless, virus or no virus.